It’s often said that the only constant is change. That often feels especially true in combat sports, where elite talents rise and fall, promotions come and go, and even the most tightly bonded of business relationships can be dashed in an instant. The latest such fracture comes from none other than the UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.
The Brazilian fighter recently dropped his longtime manager, Wallid Ismail, to work with Urijah Faber under the MMA arm of American sports & esports management firm VaynerSports. While Figureiredo initially pinned the decision on supposed communication issues between Ismail and the UFC, in an interview back in June he revealed that the real reason was all down to money.
“Our disagreement was based on numbers,” Figueiredo said, speaking to Sherdog.com. “When I was champion and fought [Brandon] Moreno at UFC 263, my purse was $200,000 to show plus $100,000 to win plus pay-per-view points. In the third fight [at UFC 270], when I regained my belt, it was $100,000 (to show) plus $100,000 (to win) — that’s not a champion´s purse. I called Wallid and apologized to him for some bad stuff I said to the press when I was angry, but we parted ways.”
For Ismail, however, it seems the Jungle Fight president and former UFC & Pride fighter still has a bone to pick with ‘Deus da Guerra’ over allegations that he failed to tell the UFC about Figueiredo’s hand injury and that he failed to tell Figueiredo about the UFC’s interim title plans. Both things Ismail claims simply aren’t true.
“From the beginning I didn’t want to speak out so as not to expose Deiveson,” Ismail said in a post on social media (h/t Sherdog.com). “I had informed Deiveson that the UFC would [create] the interim belt if he couldn’t fight until July. The UFC was aware that he was injured. I have conversations with matchmakers informing [them] about the injury. He made a statement in the press saying that he would only like to fight Kai Kara France in October, although I asked him to fight Brandon Moreno again, as this would be the best fight for his career.
“He wants to look for someone to blame for his wrong decisions, I’m just speaking out because, although he apologized to me for lying that he didn’t know about the interim belt, now he’s back to lying, that I hadn’t warned the UFC about his injury. That’s a lack of character.”
“This vagabond has become a shameless bastard,” he added. “First he lied saying that I hadn’t warned him about the interim belt (the bastard told me he didn’t care). The bastard apologized to me for lying, now he’s telling another lie. You’re very naughty, Deiveson. I told the UFC that he was injured and could only fight in October. This bastard asked me to say that.”
More recently, Ismail took to Twitter to respond to Figueiredo’s monetary claims as well. Notably that while Figueiredo’s base salary may not have been that high relative to other UFC champions, he’s the first flyweight title holder to get a PPV cut.
when Deiveson lost the belt, he received almost 1 million dollars, with the gain in the PPV, never a flyweight had received .% in the PPV, don’t repeat the shit of those who don’t tell the whole truth, show me a flyweight fighter who made more money than this ungrateful Figgy? https://t.co/IB1EhHen4c
— Wallid Ismail (@WallidJfc) July 8, 2022
Figueiredo is currently awaiting the winner of the upcoming bout between Kai Kara France and Brandon Moreno later this month at UFC 277. He’s also teased a move to the bantamweight division, noting that he doesn’t believe it will be possible for him to continue cutting weight down to 125lbs within the next year of his MMA career.
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